Apr 10

An Adventure-Filled Donut with Loneliness Sprinkles

by in Learning, Travel

Analogies are wonderful, because they help me make sense of what’s going on in my life. For the past few weeks, I’ve been living out the adventure trip of a lifetime. Earthquake relief, train trips through the Southern Alps, glacier hikes, mountain biking, hitchhiking, tramping, and jet boat rides…it has been awesome! But while I’ve had some of the most fun doing some of the craziest things in my entire life, I’ve noticed something: I’m lonely.

No matter where I go, which activities I do, or which hostel I stay at, I see the same thing. I see people traveling together. Couples on their honeymoon, or their anniversary. Groups of 2 or 3 young friends traveling together. Retired couples enjoying their retirement together. Boyfriends and girlfriends. Or the worst case scenario: huge tour groups! And then there’s me, all by myself. Now, lest you mistake this as an attempt to earn sympathy, let me remind you: I’m having the time of my life and I’m loving it!

But at the same time, I am sad. I’m sad because I have no one to share my experiences with.

Flying down the mountain bike path and stopping to catch a view of the lake…


Watching the sunset at the harbour in Greymouth…


Taking a scenic boat tour of the majestic Milford Sound…


So many thoughts bouncing around my brain. So much to express, and yet no one is there to listen.

This is nothing new. It’s the age-old dilemma of traveling alone. To be fair, I have met quite a few other people along the way who are traveling alone just like me. That’s been a major blessing, as I’ve had the delight of sharing some of my experiences with them. But all things considered, I’ve struggled to travel without a companion.

To make sense of what I was feeling, I’ve come up with an analogy. It’s like I’ve been eating a donut that’s full to the brim with Adventure, but sprinkled on the top with Loneliness. With every bite I’ve taken, I’ve tasted the awesomeness of adventure, but I simply cannot ignore the loneliness. I believe that life was meant to be livedĀ together. I find there is considerably less joy in experiencing alone even the best of what life has to offer.

So I have made a decision: I will never eat a donut sprinkled with loneliness again. That is to say, I don’t intend to travel by myself anymore. But I fully intend to keep traveling in the future. And that means one of you, my friends, will be coming with me!

Question: when it comes to traveling, are you a lone ranger, or do you prefer to have a companion or two?

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10 Responses to “An Adventure-Filled Donut with Loneliness Sprinkles”

  1. From Maurilio:

    Like most good things in life, travel is meant to be enjoyed with someone. I’m commenting from the Vienna airport where after 10 days is eastern Europe, I’m making my way back home. I had the privilege to travel with a client and good friend. I’m glad I had someone to share these memories with.

    If you want to travel well, just call me. I know how to get around.

    Posted on 10. Apr, 2011 at 4:46 am #
    • From Kevin:

      Yes, I can see that. Where in the World is Maurilio Amorim?

      Posted on 10. Apr, 2011 at 10:44 am #
  2. From jilly:

    kev, i have tasted that donut. well, mine was more like a donut hole.. but i decided pretty much immediately upon arriving in europe that i don’t want to travel alone. it’s just too bittersweet to be fully enjoyed. so proud of you, though, and i hope you have a safe rest of your journey! :) x

    Posted on 10. Apr, 2011 at 10:18 am #
    • From Kevin:

      Yeah, that donut’s got nothing on Steak N Shake! (For anyone else reading this, Jill knows what that means :) )

      Posted on 10. Apr, 2011 at 10:45 am #
      • From jilly.:

        not even close. first order of business when we’re both back in franklin..

        Posted on 10. Apr, 2011 at 11:16 am #
  3. From Kim Banks:

    I understand the loneliness thing. I will wish for you a traveling companion. But while you are out there alone, remember that you are sharing all these beautiful things with the Creator of them all. God is always with you–in fact, He is giving you a one-on-one guided tour. Savor this…

    Posted on 10. Apr, 2011 at 6:27 pm #
    • From Kevin:

      Yep you’re right, I believe He’s always there with me, even when I’m lonely.

      Posted on 11. Apr, 2011 at 1:52 am #
  4. From Ashley Stevener:

    That’s the reason I haven’t made it to new Zealand yet! I just know it will be amazing, but even better if I could share it with someone. And so far none of my friends have stepped up!
    Chin up. :)

    Posted on 10. Apr, 2011 at 9:25 pm #
    • From Kevin:

      Thanks Ashley. I wish I could offer some advice on how to talk your friends into traveling with you. Let me know if you figure out how!

      Posted on 11. Apr, 2011 at 1:54 am #


  1. The Journey Is Complete | Kevin Scott Banks - 13. Apr, 2011

    [...] back in Nashville. On top of that, I spent a lot of time traveling around New Zealand either by myself or with people I’ve only just met. I’m very thankful for the friends and companions [...]

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